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So we all know about Mel Gibson getting busted for Drunk Driving.
Two stories are emerging from a PR perspective out of this.
The first, obviously, is the LA County Sheriff’s office, and the fact that they might have, according to TMZ, offered preferential treatment to Mr. Gibson, as well as going back and changing the police report to make it reflect less badly on Mr. Gibson. Lessons out of this are simple – Hollywood gets a different set of rules – that’ll never change, and that’s not so concerning. It’d be nice to see him lose his license, just like any other idiot who DWI’s, but it wouldn’t matter, since he probably has a fleet of limos and drivers at his disposal.
The second is a bit more intriguing from a PR standpoint. As we know, he blamed not only his drunken state, but every war that’s ever happened, (don’t know WHERE that came from) on the Jews. OK. Why? Because he’s an anti-semite? Probably, as it’s been reported before.
But the PR nightmare from this, for him, is his apology, no doubt hastily crafted by his publicist after three Venti espresso shots when the call came into her at 5am. The problem with the release, reprinted below, is that it’s hollow. It’s not apologetic, it’s attempting to, if not justify his actions and remarks, then at least “repair” what he said.
He’s trying to do that too quickly. His first statement needs to be more concise, more to the point, and basically say, “Yes, I screwed up, I’m getting help, I’m sorry.” There will be more chances to apologize in a bigger way later.
Here’s his statement:
The following is the complete text of Mel Gibson’s statement regarding his arrest for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol:
“After drinking alcohol on Thursday night, I did a number of things that were very wrong and for which I am ashamed. I drove a car when I should not have, and was stopped by the L.A. County sheriff’s. The arresting officer was just doing his job and I feel fortunate that I was apprehended before I caused injury to any other person.
“I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested, and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable. I am deeply ashamed of everything I said and I apologize to anyone who I have offended.
“Also, I take this opportunity to apologize to the deputies involved for my belligerent behavior. They have always been there for me in my community and indeed probably saved me from myself. I disgraced myself and my family with my behavior and for that I am truly sorry.
“I have battled the disease of alcoholism for all of my adult life and profoundly regret my horrific relapse. I apologize for any behavior unbecoming of me in my inebriated state and have already taken necessary steps to ensure my return to health.”
The issue here is two-fold, if not more. He went and apologized to everyone in the world, including the cops, and then touched briefly on what he said.
What his publicist doesn’t seem to realize, though, is that drinking and driving is forgivable in Hollywood. Blowing lines off a stripper is forgivable. Hell, not showing up to the set for call is forgivable, but only if it’s due to “exhaustion and dehydration.”
But pissing off the Jews? Not so much. CNN said “There’s a large Jewish population in Hollywood.” I’d take it a step further: We run the town.
That said, the release might have wanted to focus a bit more on the fact that Mel Gibson, in an alcohol-fueled rage, came out and said what we all know he thinks to himself all the time – He hates the Jews.
And that’s what’s gonna nail him. Not the DWI arrest. He’s in talks to do a mini-series on the Holocaust for ABC. Otherwise known as Disney. Whatcha wanna bet that just kinda… goes away?
Ah, Mel… Shoulda had your driver pick you up.
Henry Ford was also a huge anti-semite – and when he invented the Model T, these three Jewish guys came to him and said “come sit in your car. We’ve modified it a bit.” It was the middle of August, and Mr. Ford was ready to sit down and bake. But he was surprised to find that when he got into the car, it was cool and comfortable! The three guys had invented auto-air conditioning!
Mr. Ford said, “I must have this. Name your price.” They came to an agreement, then the guys said, “But of course, we want “Cooled by Schwartz Air Conditioning” on every car. Henry Ford went nuts. No WAY was he putting three Jewish guys names on his automobile.
So they came to a compromise. And that’s why every car in production today, on the air conditioning unit, has the name of the inventors.
Seriously! You don’t believe me? Just go to your car and look, and you’ll see:
“Hi, Norm, and Max.”